Do Humans Recognise Themselves in a Mirror?

vanityArtwork: “Be Your Selfie” by The PPC Spectrophonic Studio ©

“Ugly is as ugly does.”  – General Paniscus

Ever since an Earth ape looked at its reflection and thought “Hang on a minute… that’s not Dave.” they have been obsessed by their appearance.

It’s interesting to note just how trivial the whole judgemental, stigmatic and social preoccupation with it all appears to everyone else in the galaxy. Particularly as Earth apes look so ridiculous to begin with.

That’s not to say the rest of the universe doesn’t enjoy altering their features too. Many species partake in several cosmic fads.

This year – are big lips or thin lips the trend? Should our antennae be curved, wavy or straight? Descale or not to descale? Will blue skin be the in-thing… or green?

On Aldebaran 6, a fuller figure is considered attractive, whereas on Rana 4, a tall slender figure is more appealing.

On Giedi Prime, there is no distinction between the male and female form, and on Omicron Ceti 3, the very idea of changing one’s appearance is absurd. (Possibly due to the fact that they are the galaxy’s only transparent species, and so any artificial pigmentation would have alerted them to predators long ago and therefore seen them fail to evolve past the invention of the atomic lightbulb.)

The physical modifications which Earth apes apply to their bodies are just as diverse – this is noticeably evident with the female of the species.

For example, yesterday whilst I was waiting for my ape-friend, Trudy, to have her hair trimmed, straightened, plaited, coloured and then fashioned into an elaborate arrangement, I decided to flick through the pages of a magazine.

As a zoetrope of painted and artificially altered apes span through my hands, I happened to stop at an extremely odd feature.

The author had selected images of a range of different apes in which she found it necessary to highlight what she considered little imperfections. In her semi-evolved opinion, some of the apes were of the ‘wrong’ width or the ‘wrong’ shape, some of the apes had failed to disguise their natural blemishes and some of the apes had failed completely to keep their natural biological features hidden at all!

After complementing Trudy for choosing such a hilarious hairdo, I couldn’t help but reflect on the bizarre social attitudes that the human apes gave to their appearance.

I noticed that the advertisements, magazine covers, posters and television screens all appeared to portray the same synthetically tanned, waxed and painted apes – It is very rare to see a natural one used in such media.

Some apes will remove their eyebrows entirely and draw on straight, curly or wavy ones. Some apes will starve themselves to become thinner. Some apes will cover their entire face with an amalgamation of colour, some are pierced and some will even undergo surgical operations to reshape their features all together.

I know some apes who find it difficult to go outdoors without their “Face on.”

It is then horrifying and totally outrageous to witness some apes being ridiculed, harassed, insulted and socially excluded by the way they look (It is a common misconception with these apes that the way one appears is linked to one’s emotional and intellectual capacity.)

Furthermore, I have known some apes to develop loss of self-esteem, confidence and suffer great anxiety over this social denigration and some become dangerously unhealthy due to the pressure to reconfigure their bodies accordingly.

It becomes even more concerning when these images and attitudes are mimicked by pre-adolescent apes.

Additionally, male apes also display signs of insecurity and some can be observed attempting to shiftily evaluate themselves in passing reflections whilst others will holler insults freely. Shamefully, between grunts, they can be heard to make derogatory quips about the females form, reinforcing the negative attitude.

Unfortunately, this truly repulsive and ugly nature of the Earth ape is plain to see – none more so than down the line of a selfie stick.

As Trudy and I parted ways, I was amused to see a whole flange of apes franticly scatter as a gust of wind threatened to displace their hair.

Until next time, keep evolving!

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